Tutorials & Tips

How to Blend (Almost) Everything

How to Blend (Almost) Everything How to Blend (Almost) Everything

Using a blender seems pretty straightforward — put your ingredients in and turn it on. But what if you’re trying to blend something a little trickier (or stickier!) or are trying to do a task best left to another appliance like a food processor or a coffee grinder? Believe it or not, there are some tricks to making your blender blend almost anything. If you’ve ever struggled while blending chopped nuts or wondered if you could blend your coffee beans instead of using a coffee grinder, we’ve got you covered.

Just a couple things to keep in mind — remember, not all blenders are made the same. When it comes to heavy blending, or blending for long periods of time, you’ll want to make sure you have a blender up to the task. Look for blenders with higher wattage if you plan on tackling a major blending project. If you’re blending a batch of frozen juice concentrate or want to use your blender to chop vegetables, you’ll want to look for a blender with a large blender jar as well.

How to Blend Cookie or Cracker Crumbs

cookie crumbs on a milkshake
Want to sprinkle your ice cream with cookie crumbs or make a pretzel base for your icebox cake? Try blending your cookies or crackers in your blender for a more consistent cut. It’ll also save you the effort from crushing cookies by hand. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Break your cookies or crackers into pieces and put them in your blender jar
  2. Process 1 cup at a time
  3. Using your pulse setting, pulse the pieces about 10 times

Blending cookies or crackers is an easy trick, with delicious results. And while you can use a blender (obviously) to do this, it still might be easier to do in a food processor.

 

How to Chop Nuts in a Blender

chopped nuts on a cutting board
Have a recipe that calls for chopped nuts but all you have is whole nuts in the cupboard? Don’t worry — your blender is here to save the day. Here’s how to chop nuts:

  1. Place 1 cup nuts into your blender jar
  2. Pulse a few times
  3. Remove your jar from the base and shake it to redistribute the pieces
  4. Place your jar on the base and pulse a few more times

Make sure you use the pulse when doing using your blender to chop nuts — otherwise, you could end up with nut butter instead of. This trick will work for smaller recipes, like this Apple Walnut Charoset, but if you are planning on chopping more than a few cups of nuts, stick to a food processor. You'll get more uniform results and be able to shop more than a cup or two at a time.

 

How to Chop Vegetables in a Blender


It is possible to chop cabbage, carrots, onions, green peppers or potatoes in your blender but be careful not to blend too much when trying this ultimate blender hack. You could end up with a vegetable soup or juice… which could be great, but probably isn’t what you were going for. Here’s how to chop veggies in a blender:

  1. Place 2 cups of chunky vegetables into your blender jar
  2. Cover your veggies with water
  3. Pulse the contents until veggies reach your desired chop consistency
  4. Pour the mixture into a colander to drain off the water

Since you’ll be using a lot of dishes in this scenario, it might be better to use an actual food chopper or food processor to do your heavy vegetable chopping.

 

How to Grind Coffee Beans in a Blender

coffee in a white cup
Have you ever gotten to a vacation cabin and only in the morning discovered that you brought whole bean coffee and the place is coffee-grinder free? This could be a disaster unless you have access to a blender. Follow these simple instructions in order to get the best results:

  1. Place ½ cup coffee beans into your blender jar
  2. Blend for 30 seconds, or until the coffee beans reach your desired grind consistency

You can use a blender to grind coffee beans, but keep in mind, they may not be quite as fine as you are used to or achieve as uniform a consistency.

 

How to Blend Frozen Juice Concentrate

orange juice in a glass
Need orange juice in a jiffy? Take your frozen juice concentrate out of the freezer and put it in the blender. You’ll have juice in just a few minutes. Here’s what you do:

  1. Place 6 ounces of frozen juice in the blender
  2. Put in the recommended amount of water, according to the instructions
  3. Blender for 20 seconds until smooth

This is one that’s best suited for the blender. If your blender has an easy-pour jar, even better!

 

How to Grate Chocolate in a Blender

grated chocolate on a cake
If you’re melting chocolate for a mousse or making a batch of homemade brownies, break down your bar of baking chocolate into smaller pieces. Instead of hacking away at it with a knife, try chopping it in your blender. These tips will help:

  1. Break 2 to 3 ounces of baking chocolate into chunks
  2. Put it in your blender jar
  3. Pulse for 10 seconds or until it reaches the desired consistency

This trick will work for other large chocolate bars as well, so if you’re making a fondue or melting down chocolate in a double boiler, try this blender hack to make it go faster. You can also do this in a food processor.

 

How to Make Pancake or Waffle Batter in a Blender

waffles on a plate with butter
A hand mixer or stand mixer will be your best bet when it comes to mixing your pancake or waffle batter, but it can be done in a blender if you’re in a pinch. Here’s how:

  1. Place all your liquid ingredients in your blender jar first
  2. Put your measured dry ingredients on top
  3. Blend for 10 seconds or until well mixed with no lumps

As an added bonus, if you use this trick, you can pour your batter directly onto your griddle or waffle iron from the spout of your blender.

 

How to Make Smooth Gravy in a Blender

gravy in a gravy boat
Of course, you can whisk your gravy ingredients together on the stovetop but if you’re in a rush or are seeing a lot of lumps, blending your gravy can make it surprisingly smooth and uniform. Follow these simple steps for great results:

  1. Place your drippings in your blender jar
  2. Add a small amount of flour
  3. If your blender has a filler-cap in the lid, remove it to allow steam to escape
  4. Using an oven mitt or thick towel to cover your hand, place your hand on top of the blender jar
  5. Begin at the lowest speed and blender for 5 seconds or until smooth
  6. Keep adding flour until gravy has reached the desired consistency

When blending hot liquids, remember to always take extra care to not burn yourself. If your blender is glass, make sure it’s not cold when you pour hot liquids into it as well because you could crack it. If you want to avoid making those mistakes, use a hand blender instead.

 

How to Grate Parmesan Cheese in a Blender

Parmesan cheese on eggplant
Having guests over for a spaghetti dinner but stuck with a big block of parmesan cheese? A cheese grater will do the trick, but you can save your arm by grating your parmesan cheese in the blender. Make sure you do it right by following these steps:

  1. Cut your cheese into half-inch chunks
  2. Place them in the blender jar
  3. Blend until your cheese reaches the desired consistency

Sprinkle it over your spaghetti and enjoy. Keep in mind that an easier way to get uniform grated cheese is to use a food processor with a grating attachment.

 

Blenders are great appliances, capable of doing much more than just making your morning smoothie. While a blender might not be your (or our) first choice to grind coffee or mix pancake batter, it’s good to know that your trusty blender can always come through in a pinch.


Additional Tips & Techniques

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